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Knowing the Unknowable

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Knowing the Unknowable

Moses could not fathom what procedure could possibly purify a person who had been ritually defiled by contact with death, until G‑d granted him a uniquely profound revelation. Although in exile the ritual of the Red Heifer cannot be performed, through learning about this mitzvah, a Jew can purify his body and soul.
Loss, Mourning & Consolation, Red Heifer, Lubavitcher Rebbe
Knowing the Unknowable
Disc 47, Program 185

Event Date: 21 Adar 5748 - March 10, 1988

Moses could not fathom what procedure could possibly purify a person who had been ritually defiled by contact with death, until G‑d granted him a uniquely profound revelation. Although in exile the ritual of the Red Heifer cannot be performed, through learning about this mitzvah, a Jew can purify his body and soul.

The goal of Torah study is not just to understand a concept, but for it to permeate one’s entire being so thoroughly that it is also experienced in one’'s emotions. Moses sought, and attained, the ability to understand and feel how the impurity of death can be transformed to good.

This fusion of comprehension and emotion is a lofty challenge, experienced by those who, G‑d forbid, lose a loved one: Torah requires him to gradually downgrade his mourning as each stage of bereavement comes to a close. Torah explains the decreasing intensity of the bereavement, yet he has to endeavor not to continue feeling more sorrowful. But his every effort is considered a genuine divine service.

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